One of the things I wasn't going to do with my blog was write about how to write. For one thing, there is tons of stuff on the internet about writing - not to mention all the books on how to write.
Well, anyway - I've gone and done it, haven't I?
Okay...the next tip is to put away the perfect little ms and research the literary agents or publishers for a list of where it will be submitted. When that gets boring, work on query letters.
Then pull out that ready-to-go ms and read it aloud. Is it really ready to go? Listen to what you are saying. If that ms was written by someone else would it really be finished? Best go through it with an objective eye. You only get one shot to shop that ms to each of your targets. Make it a good one.
Some people say the most common error is shopping an ms before it is ready for a professional to read it. I agree. Put your best foot forward.
Get everything ready, your ms, your query letter, your synopsis, and your list of targets (agents or publishers). Then begin to query.